CUTwC drinking games

Please note that most of these rules are from the author’s memory, and even ignoring the whim of finesmasters may be inaccurate. If any deviation from common practice is noted, please let me know.

Non-card games

Card games

Card games with non-standard cards

Games with other equipment

On drinking games in general

While the primary game of the members of CUTwC is, of course, the noble sport of tiddlywinks, these versatile souls partake of a number of other games, often based around the concept of imbibing some of a beverage as a fine. Hence, these activities are popular in the bar after meetings, and towards the less hectic end of pub crawls.

Before we go on to a detailed description of the games, the fining system should be slightly clarified. The fines assume that the finee is drinking a pint of beer; some conversion is usually agreed for anyone suicidal enough to play a drinking game on spirits. The basic unit of fining is the finger - there are eight fingers in a pint. If someone tells you to “drink a fine", they probably mean a finger. Naturally, this amount roughly equates to lowering the level of the drink by the width of a finger. Games with high fines are often played with pencils, where a pencil is half a finger, or even a waffer (half a pencil); this decision is often made after playing the game on fingers and regretting it, other than being able to say “I remember when we played this on fingers". Some games require some multiple of this basic quantity to be drunk. It is encouraged to drink one’s fine before resuming participation in the game. While a player might be able to negotiate the substance and quantity being consumed (sips of whisky, “fizzy shite”, some scaling to allow for body mass, tea...) the games do rely on actions having consequences: a player who can cause others to incur a multi-pint fine at no personal risk will break the game mechanics.

Someone who is seated at the table but not included in a game, for example because he still has to drink his fine, is referred to as “whitebait” (as in a particularly puny fish), and should not be dealt into a card game, and cannot be considered as present in other games. It is traditional to indicate that one is “whitebait” by placing the back of one’s hand on one’s forehead, with optional finger wiggling to emulate a sea anemone. Note that we do not wish to cause medical harm to winkers: there is no shame in being whitebait beyond being excluded from play (and some kudos in having played aggressively or unluckily and ending up with a fine that you cannot trivially drink).

Card games

CUTwC makes substantial use of cards as a way to punish the liver. Many of these games are obviously derived from less painful versions that will only lose you money. Note that people have different priorities under these circumstances, and it is not unusual for the tactics required to make everyone else drink heavily to be different from the tactics required to minimise your own fine (or loss of money).

For most of these games the deal and order of play is traditionally clockwise as seen from above, although that’s not compulsory. A dealer who makes an error in dealing (dropping a card on the floor, accidentally dealing a card face up, accidentally skipping a player, including cards that should have been removed from the deck, shuffling cards inappropriately or putting discarded cards on the top of the deck rather than the bottom) has to drink a fine. A player who “revokes” and breaks the hand by playing illegally must drink a large fine. The same applies to cheating in any other way (a classic example being Tim Hunt, who pointed out that a player adjacent to him had revoked by playing illegally — something Tim knew only because he was looking at the other player’s unplayed cards).

Some card games require a small number of additional cards in play beyond those dealt to the players, typically to introduce some randomness: play can be deterministic if you know what cards must be available. CUTwC uses the (apparently Norwegian) terminology “drittsekk” for these cards, and the deck of cards in play is “shortened” by selectively removing some cards from the game until the combination of drittsekk and cards dealt to players is appropriate.